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Foot Burning and Pain

Wearing inappropriate footwear or foot problems like athlete's foot and Morton's neuroma are some of the factors that cause burning feet sensation.
Nicks J
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
Also known as paresthesias, burning pain in the foot has become a common phenomenon in today's fast paced life. This foot problem is indeed bothersome as every step taken while walking or running may trigger sharp shooting pain in the leg. Many times, the pain remains localized, while in some cases, it reaches the calf muscles and brings extreme discomfort. The burning pain is similar to pricking of pins and needles and often described as a tingling sensation.
Causes
Tired feet are one of the most common reasons that cause this foot problem. The intensity and the amount of time the pain occurs, will vary from person to person. However, in most cases, the pain lasts for a few hours and goes away on its own. The main culprits behind burning feet sensation are given below:
Wearing Ill-fitting Shoes
Buying ill-fitting shoes is one of the most foolish decisions that one could ever make. People wearing tight shoes often complain about pricking of pins and needle sensation in the feet. Also, in flat footed people, the weight of the body is unequally distributed and is more concentrated on the inside of the soles. This can also cause foot burning pain. So, people who have flat feet should purchase shoes that provide adequate support. Inserting arch support insoles in the shoes is also a good option.
Peripheral Neuropathy
An uncontrolled diabetes can trigger health complications like peripheral neuropathy. In this condition, the nerves traveling through the extremities of our body (hands and feet) get damaged due to persistent high blood sugar levels. When too much sugar circulates in the bloodstream for a long duration, it can disturb the functioning of peripheral nerves and trigger burning sensation in the feet.
Overuse of the Feet
Laborers working in huge factories have to really work hard to complete their predetermined task. This generally involves standing on feet for considerable amount of time, which may eventually cause painful sensation in their feet.
Athlete's Foot
Athlete's foot is an infection that occurs when specific type of fungus invades the feet and specifically targets the moist spaces between the toes. Athlete's foot typically brings a burning sensation and makes the skin itchy. Even the soles of the affected foot, typically produce an unusual stinging sensation. In most cases, the fungal infection leads to formation of itchy blisters in between the toes.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)
The term 'tarsal' refers to the ankle, which is an important part of the foot. As we all know, the ankle is a joint that connects the lower part of the leg with the foot. The tarsal tunnel is a passage that is located within the ankle. A closer look inside the passage reveals that arteries, nerves, tendons, and the veins pass through this tunnel.
If any of the nerves gets compressed due to inflammation of the tendon or injuries like ankle sprain, then the condition is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. TTS can trigger numbness or tingling sensation in the foot. The radiating pain may travel down to the upper part of the leg and interfere with activities like walking or running. A twisted ankle can squeeze the nerve and trigger burning sensation.
Erythromelalgia
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a condition that commonly affects the extremities of the body (feet). This is a disorder related to the abnormal circulation of blood. To be more specific, EM refers to the unequal distribution of blood flow, resulting in insufficient circulation of blood in the feet. This can cause redness and burning pain in the balls of the feet.
Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a skin problem that occurs when the skin is exposed to irritants, which generally appears as a rash on the affected areas. It is observed that wearing socks made up of synthetic fibers can irritate the foot skin and cause contact dermatitis, eventually causing burning and itchy rashes on the feet.
Nutritional Deficiency
Intake of diet lacking in vitamin B12 is another reason behind tingling sensation in the feet. Nutritional deficiency can always be corrected by following a healthy diet.
Morton's Neuroma
Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition in which one of nerves traveling down the toes gets inflamed. The swelling of the nerve is seen at the ball of the foot that lies between the 3rd and the 4th toe. The ball of the foot is the area where 2 nerves meet and form one large nerve. Doctors believe that the inflammation of this nerve is the body's response to excessive pressure put on this nerve. Ball foot burning pain that is accompanied by numbness and cramps in the forefoot is the most common symptom of Morton's neuroma.
When considering treatment for this foot problem, correct diagnosis of the underlying cause is the key to resolve this issue. Appropriate footwear selection is the best remedy to alleviate burning pain in the feet. Buying shoes that possess a wide and high toe box area can help to relieve foot pain. Use of high heel shoes or too much sprinting or jumping can also cause tingling sensation in the feet. In such cases, taking adequate rest can help to ease the pain. Taking painkillers such as aspirin and acetaminophen may also help to relieve the discomfort.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.
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